Long Beach,
15
November
2017
|
11:12 PM
America/Los_Angeles

A Tongue Isn’t Necessary to Enjoy a Fine Wine, New Study by Cal State Long Beach Researchers Find

Summary

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2017) — California State University Long Beach researchers have discovered that a person’s ability to recognize complex taste and flavors in food and drinks – like wine – isn’t dependent on the tongue.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2017) — California State University Long Beach researchers have discovered that a person’s ability to recognize complex taste and flavors in food and drinks – like wine – isn’t dependent on the tongue.

This was the first research to use real food or beverage when looking at taste, said Kristin Mahood, CSULB Family and Consumer Sciences lecturer and lead researcher on the study. Simple non-food solutions had been used in past studies.

“Our approach was more reflective of reality, since no one consumes food or beverages with a single taste or flavor,” she said.

While studying an exceptionally rare condition known as Isolated Congenital Aglossia, in which a person is born without a tongue, Mahood and CSULB assistant professor Long Wang chose to look at people’s abilities to taste complex flavors. They discovered a person with ICA and a naïve wine taster without the condition had similar taste perception.

The findings, published in the Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies and Hearing Aids, might help those who no longer have tongues through cancer and other diseases improve their diet, nutrition and quality of life, Mahood said.

Mahood and Wang plan to expand their research to assess and compare how people’s sense of taste changes through the natural aging process. They also hope to apply the findings to more common conditions beyond ICA to head and neck injuries, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

“This sheds exciting light on the potential for new rehabilitation strategies for the loss of taste function,” Wang said. “We could potentially train our brains to sense certain taste stimuli.”

Click here to learn more about Mahood's research.
 

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About California State University Long Beach
California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is a teaching-intensive, research-driven university committed to providing highly valued undergraduate and graduate degrees critical for success in the globally minded 21st century. Annually ranked among the best universities in the West and among the best values in the entire nation, the university’s eight colleges serve more than 37,500 students. CSULB values and is recognized for rich educational opportunities provided by excellent faculty and staff, exceptional degree programs, diversity of its student body, fiduciary and administrative responsibility and the positive contributions faculty, staff, students and more than 300,000 alumni make on society.